Brilliant baroque concert with Pahud, Pinnock, Manson at Shriver Hall

05.05.09
Emmanuel Pahud
Baltimore Sun

The Shriver Hall Concert Series wrapped up its subscription series Sunday night with a splash of brilliant baroque featuring the Berlin Philharmonic's principal flutist, Swiss-born Emmanuel Pahud; eminent English harpsichordist and conductor Trevor Pinnock; and the excellent Scottish cellist Jonathan Manson.

The primary focus was on flute sonatas by Bach, showcasing Pahud's extraordinary tonal gleam and subtlety of phrasing; his ability to produce a perfect pianissimo was in itself worth catching the concert. Pinnock backed the flutist with a mix of technical elan and expressive finesse (he also recovered neatly from two crises in the Sonata No. 2 -- a sticking note on the keyboard and a wind gust that played havoc with his music score).

Pahud also had a field day with Telemann's vibrant D major Fantasie for unaccompanied flute. On his own, Pinnock offered an eventful account of Purcell's Suite No. 4, getting a lot of colors from the harpsichord and, in the concluding Gigue, articulating the rushing counterpoint with terrific clarity and infectious enthusiasm. Manson, playing on a fine baroque cello, added beautifully detailed lines to some of the flute sonatas and also got the solo spotlight for Bach's G major Cello Suite, which he performed with as much virtuosity as refined sensitivity.

Although this was the end of the main Shriver Hall presentations for the season, there's one more event in the Discovery Series that the organizations presents at the neighboring BMA -- a recital by the remarkable young British clarinetist Julian Bliss at 3 p.m. Saturday. It's free, but reservations are recommended.